Goshen News, Goshen, IN

May 18, 2013

Goshen neighborhood stands together on north side


GOSHEN — Sometimes a news photographer is at the optimum location at exactly the right time. Goshen News staffer Sam Householder was in such a spot Wednesday.

Householder captured the image of young Tamra Lucas handing a flower to Tonya Griffin on the near north side of Goshen. It’s a sweet picture, the kind of thing that gives journalists — too often immersed in sad and dreadful events — reason to smile.

Actually, the entire event Tamra Lucas was part of made the News staff glad.

That effort was “Neighbors Stand Together.” Around 100 people turned out for a half-hour walk that began and ended on the lawn at Chamberlain Elementary School. Along the route in the Chamberlain neighborhood, participants handed out carnations and candy to the people they met along the way.

The event put a positive face on Goshen. The incident that inspired it, simply put, did not. “Neighbors Stand Together” was organized in response to a drive-by shooting a month ago that injured several teenagers near Chamberlain school.

Wednesday’s walk wasn’t about bolstering the candy-and-flowers segment of the economy. It was about sending a message. We think that message came through loud and clear.

Gunfire erupting on a Sunday night is newsworthy, and The Goshen News did its best to report that event accurately. Malicious mayhem isn’t the whole story, though, and “Neighbors Stand Together” is an important addition to the account.

The walk was a story about unity, about community pride, about how many good people respond when the bad actions of a few threaten to stain the social fabric. It was a story about Goshen at its best.

Will a neighborhood walk put an end to senseless violence in the Maple City? Probably not. But it serves as an example of what Goshenites can and should do when trouble arrives in the community they call home.

They stand together.